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‘Polar’ gift for USC

Flick benefit lends hand to film school

At a preem for a film about Santa Claus, the big gift went to USC.

Sunday’s Chinese Theater bow of “Polar Express” benefited the USC School of Cinema-Television to the tune of $600,000.

“With Bob,” said USC’s Elizabeth Daley referring to helmer Robert Zemeckis, “it’s not just about the money. He teaches, he mentors and he sets the bar for the kind of storytelling we want to teach.”

Though most of the audience members were USC supporters, production company Castle Rock’s Martin Shafer said he went to UCLA, where “the fundraising is called taxpaying.”

Among those on hand were Warners’ Barry Meyer, Alan Horn and Jeff Robinov; producers Steve Starkey and Gary Goetzman; exec producer Jack Rapke; plus guests including Bill Mechanic, Frank Marshall and Bruce Cohen.

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